This year, Wreaths Across America expects to deliver more than one million wreaths to veterans’ graves throughout the globe. Thousands of visitors and dozens of trucks will spread throughout Arlington National Cemetery on Dec. 17 to place wreaths on each grave marker and pay remembrance to the men and women who fought to preserve American freedoms.
More than 300 trucks are packed with wreaths coming from Harrington, Maine to be delivered to over 1,000 participating cemeteries. Carrying roughly 5,000 wreaths per truck, it takes 60 trucks to deliver enough wreaths for Arlington National Cemetery, and the drive from Maine to Virginia is considered the world’s largest veterans’ parade
During National Wreaths Across America Day, wreath laying ceremonies will be held at military cemeteries across the country to honor those who have served.
American Trucking Associations and ATA’s Share the Road Highway Safety Program set out for the second day of the Wreaths Across America delivery to Arlington National Cemetery.
“The trucking industry has a longstanding tradition of honoring our nation’s fallen heroes and Wreaths Across America is very much a part of that legacy,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “ATA is privileged to play a role in celebrating the lives of thousands of servicemen and servicewomen this holiday season and we are grateful for the continued security provided to us by America’s active military personnel.”
Share the Road professional truck drivers Ralph Garcia and Nate McCarty are driving the program’s Mack Pinnacle 70-inch high rise sleeper model from Maine to Arlington, Virginia. Along the way, the drivers will participate in engaging education sessions for local students and communities to learn about the trucking industry’s importance to the economy and the need to honor the nation’s heroes.
“As a veteran and as a truck driver, I feel tremendous pride knowing that the load I’m carrying will be used to honor and show gratitude to such a deserving group of Americans” said Share the Road professional truck driver Nate McCarty, of ABF Freight. “In my past experiences as part of this convoy, I’ve met Gold Star Mothers and heard moving stories of heroism, and I look forward to sharing this journey with my friends in the trucking community.”
“Truck drivers have the fortunate perspective of seeing exactly how our armed forces impact the American way of life,” said Share the Road professional truck driver Ralph Garcia, of ABF Freight. “We get to share the highways with a diverse group of fellow Americans and take part in the movement of critical goods and all of this is made possible by America’s military.”
A. Duie Pyle is participating in this year’s event by driving the wreaths to the cemetery and placing them on veterans’ gravestones at Oxford Cemetery in Oxford, PA. Three of Pyle’s drivers have volunteered to participate in the wreath laying ceremony of 1,200 fallen veterans and honor each with a wreath.
Omnitracs announced the company’s continued participation in the national Wreaths Across America program. For the seventh consecutive year, Omnitracs has donated $25,000 for the purchase of 2,500 wreaths to be laid on the graves of our nation’s veterans. To date, Omnitracs has donated $175,000 toward the cause.
In addition to the purchase of wreaths, Omnitracs employees will participate in the wreath laying at the following locations:
- Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery in Dallas, TX
- Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA
- Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, MN
- Miramar National Cemetery in San Diego, CA
- Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, CA
“Our involvement in Wreaths Across America has grown over the years and it’s an organization we’re proud to be able to support,” said John Graham, Navy veteran and CEO at Omnitracs. “We’re committed not only to honoring veterans through recognition and remembrance, but also to helping veterans find success and a career when they return home.”
The Wreaths Across America program receives significant support from the trucking and transportation industry, since many veterans join the industry after serving. Trucking companies, including many of Omnitracs’ customers, donate their services and time to facilitate the delivery of the wreaths to the military cemeteries.
“C.R. England has been pleased to be a part of Wreaths Across America for eight consecutive years,” said Dan England, chairman of the board for C.R. England, an Omnitracs customer. “We are honored to be part of the significant convoy that transports these holiday wreaths and will honor the members of our military who have given the ultimate sacrifice. Our drivers and support staff are proud to play a role in recognizing the many who have fallen in defense of our freedoms.”
MacroPoint also announced it is tracking the Wreaths Across America convoy that is delivering wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery and over 1,200 additional locations for National Wreaths Across America Day ceremonies.
“Delivering over 1.2 million wreaths is a massive undertaking that couldn't be done without the trucking industry,” said Glynn Spangenberg, senior vice president/general manager of MacroPoint. “The logistics, trucks and fuel, as well as the driver's time, is all donated by trucking companies. Likewise, MacroPoint is donating its software with third party visibility capabilities so everyone can follow this incredible six-day journey. Wreaths Across America is a great cause and supporting it with our technology is a great way to offer the industry and the public the opportunity to follow the convoy.”
For the annual Wreaths Across America program, MacroPoint said it works closely with Truckload of Respect, an outreach project conducted and managed by the Truckload Carriers Association to ensure that every remembrance wreath donated for placement on a veteran's grave as part of the Wreaths Across America project is delivered to its destination without cost to the charity or the cemetery. TCA works through its member companies and the trucking industry to secure volunteer commitments to haul every load of wreaths, and also coordinates logistics for Wreaths Across America.